The Catholic Encyclopedia. The death of his contemporaries served as a warning to Bernard of his own approaching end. Towards the end of 1134, he made a second journey into Aquitaine, where William X had relapsed into schism. Bernard passed into Germany, and the miracles which multiplied almost at his every step undoubtedly contributed to the success of his mission. St. Bernard explained in eighty-six sermons only the first two chapters of the Canticle of Canticles and the first verse of the third chapter. Believing himself at last secure in his cloister Bernard devoted himself with renewed vigour to the composition of those pious and learned works which have won for him the title of "Doctor of the Church". He was the third son of the knight Tecelin and Aleth, a very pious lady, whose influence decided his future. He decided in favour of Innocent II, caused him to be recognized by all the great Catholic powers, went with him into Italy, calmed the troubles that agitated the country, reconciled Pisa with Genoa, and Milan with the pope and Lothaire. It was not a table feast that was served to the pope and his followers, but a feast of virtues. In the month of May, the pope supported by the army of Lothaire, entered Rome, but Lothaire, feeling himself too weak to resist the partisans of Anacletus, retired beyond the Alps, and Innocent sought refuge in Pisa in September, 1133. The Four Loves by St Bernard of Clairvaux. Died Clairvaux, near Troyes, Champagne France August 20th 1153. The King, Louis le Jeune, Queen Eleanor, and the princes and lords present prostrated themselves at the feet of the Abbot of Clairvaux to receive the cross. Bernard's great desire was to excel in literature in order to take up the study of Sacred Scripture, which later on became, as it were, his own tongue. The book contains a most beautiful page on the papacy, and has always been greatly esteemed by the sovereign pontiffs, many of whom used it for their ordinary reading. The monastery, however, made rapid progress. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Temporal matters are merely accessories; the principal are piety, meditation, or consideration, which ought to precede action. The book contains a most beautiful page on the papacy, and has always been greatly esteemed by the sovereign pontiffs, many of whom used it for their ordinary reading. In 1830 he was declared a doctor of the church. There are also eighty-six "Sermons for the Whole Year"; his "Letters" number 530. He decided in favour of Innocent II, caused him to be recognized by all the great Catholic powers, went with him into Italy, calmed the troubles that agitated the country, reconciled Pisa with Genoa, and Milan with the pope and Lothaire. Bernard was chosen by the council to draw up a profession of faith directly opposed to that of Gilbert, who concluded by stating to the Fathers: "If you believe and assert differently than I have done I am willing to believe and speak as you do". A parliament was convoked at Vézelay in Burgundy in 1146, and Bernard preached before the assembly. He died, however, at Clairvaux in 1148. 1090-1153) was the dominant personality of the first half of the twelfth century. Clairvaux becoming too small for the religious who crowded there, it was necessary to send out bands to found new houses. In 1113, St. Bernard, with thirty young noblemen, presented himself to the holy Abbot, St. Stephen, at Citeaux. About the same time, Bernard was visited at Clairvaux by St. Malachi, metropolitan of the Church in Ireland, and a very close friendship was formed between them. At the age of nine years, Bernard was sent to a much renowned school at Chatillon-sur-Seine, kept by the secular canons of Saint-Vorles. Alarming news came at this time from the East. Transcription. The same year Bernard was again at the Council of Reims at the side of Innocent II, whose oracle he was; and then in Aquitaine where he succeeded for the time in detaching William, Count of Poitiers, from the cause of Anacletus. At age 22, he left home to join the Cistercian monastery, taking 31 companions with him—including four of his brothers and his uncle. WHY WE SHOULD LOVE GOD AND THE MEASURE OF THAT LOVE. Four brothers, an uncle, two cousins, an architect, and two seasoned monks under the leadership of Bernard endured extreme deprivations for well over a decade before Clairvaux was self-sufficient. The King, Louis le Jeune, Queen Eleanor, and the princes and lords present prostrated themselves at the feet of the Abbot of Clairvaux to receive the cross. Innocent II died in 1143. The purpose of this council was to settle certain disputes of the bishops of Paris, and regulate other matters of the Church of France. The saint was obliged to use portions of his habit to make crosses to satisfy the zeal and ardour of the multitude who wished to take part in the Crusade. St. Robert, Abbot of Molesmes, had founded, in 1098, the monastery of Cîteaux, about four leagues from Dijon, with the purpose of restoring the Rule of St. Benedict in all its rigour. MLA citation. The live-streamed Masses at St. Bernard's will take place at 9am for all Daily Masses and 11am for all Sunday Masses until further notice. Bernard de Clairvaux, a Catholic mystic, speaks with a clear voice, allowing the reader to easily follow. The dominant voice of Christian conscience in the second quarter of the twelfth century C.E., his authority was decisive in ending the papal schism of 1130. The whole pontifical court was touched by the saintly demeanor of this band of monks. During an absence from Clairvaux, the Grand Prior of Cluny, Bernard of Uxells, sent by the Prince of Priors, to use the expression of Bernard, went to Clairvaux and enticed away the abbot's cousin, Robert of Châtillon. He wrote about love and he brought a theology of love into Christianity. Towards the end of 1134, he made a second journey into Aquitaine, where William X had relapsed into schism. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? He defended the rights of the Church against the encroachments of kings and princes, and recalled to their duty Henry Archbishop of Sens, and Stephen de Senlis, Bishop of Paris. Bernard was chosen by the council to draw up a profession of faith directly opposed to that of Gilbert, who concluded by stating to the Fathers: "If you believe and assert differently than I have done I am willing to believe and speak as you do". He was the first Cistercian monk placed on the calendar of saints and was canonized by Alexander III, 18 January 1174. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Janet Grayson. The pope commissioned Bernard to preach a new Crusade and granted the same indulgences for it which Urban II had accorded to the first. Saint Bernard, the founding abbot of Clairvaux Abbey in Burgundy, was one of the most commanding Church leaders in the first half of the twelfth century as well as one of the greatest spiritual masters of all times and the most powerful propagator of the Cistercian reform. In the year 1119, Bernard was present at the first general chapter of the order convoked by Stephen of Cîteaux. This letter made a great impression upon the cardinal, and justified its author both in his eyes and before the Holy See. The passing of Pope Eugenius had struck the fatal blow by taking from him one whom he considered his greatest friend and consoler. Ecclesiastical approbation. He entered the Cîteaux community in 1112, and from then until 1115 he cultivated his spiritual and theological studies. As a Benedictine oblate, I am biased, but the writings of the Benedictine masters of spirituality always have such beauty and balance. St. Malachi would gladly have taken the Cistercian habit, but the sovereign pontiff would not give his permission. Bernard went again to Italy, where Roger of Sicily was endeavouring to withdraw the Pisans from their allegiance to Innocent. The zeal of Bernard did not stop here; it extended to the bishops, the clergy, and the faithful, and remarkable conversions of persons engaged in worldly pursuits were among the fruits of his labours. Lack of discipline and the over-confidence of the German troops, the intrigues of the Prince of Antioch and Queen Eleanor, and finally the avarice and evident treason of the Christian nobles of Syria, who prevented the capture of Damascus, appear to have been the cause of disaster. The whole pontifical court was touched by the saintly demeanor of this band of monks. On Loving God by Bernard of Clairvaux, Robert Walton (Translator), Emero Stiegman (Introduction) Answer: Bernard of Clairvaux was a French Catholic mystic, monk (in the Cistercian order), and influential church leader in the Middle Ages. There he explains how, with the crusaders as with the Hebrew people, in whose favour the Lord had multiplied his prodigies, their sins were the cause of their misfortune and miseries. Innocent II died in 1143. It is said that his mother, Aleth, exerted a virtuous influence upon Bernard only second to what St. Monica had done for St. Augustine of Hippo in the 5th century. His work in this reform contributed to the start of the Cistercian religious order. In the refectory only a few common fishes were found for the pope, and instead of wine, the juice of herbs was served for drink, says an annalist of Cîteaux. 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